Christmas is well and truly behind us and Happy New Year greetings are diminishing causing me to ponder what the etiquette is regarding New Year greetings. Happy Christmas seems appropriate from the start of advent although perhaps it should be Happy Advent and only Happy Christmas from Christmas Day until Twelfth night? Do I stop wishing Happy New Year after Burns night although then there is Chinese New Year, perhaps the 31st January? Well, as ever I write out of season so as January is still here with me and the forecast is for snow I wish you, your families and your four footed friends a happy and healthy 2017.
Margaret commented that Christmas had been quiet, I suspect she may have unplugged her phone, deservedly, over the festive period, she doesn’t subscribe to Twitter so she may not be aware how hard the LRSE&C elf was working having foolishly announced that I would post a new photograph on Twitter each day of Advent, I was already behind by day three, fortunately I was spoilt for choice with the wonderful pictures taken by Peter French of the Dogs party. I enjoyed my foray into Twitterland but the charity would greatly benefit from a twitter-elf to promote the charity, no previous qualifications, just enthusiasm, no set hours, as usual we offer no pay or benefits just a warm sense of well-being.
The Dogs Party was tremendous and as chairman I am keen that it should continue, apart from raising funds it offers an opportunity for the charity to meet, both two and four-legged friends. We are a Labrador charity but so much more, I believe we are a people charity made up of a wonderful diverse group of people all connected by a common bond. The Dogs Party will have a new organising committee for 2017 although with twenty years of experience to back them up. We need new faces and new ideas to join in, no previous qualifications, just enthusiasm, the hours are flexible although the date is soon to be set, as usual we offer no pay or benefits but by the end of the day your face will ache from smiling.
The chairman and trustees are also looking to ease some of the burden of the management of the charity, as you will know if you have previously read the chairman’s ramblings I run a pack of cub scouts and never refuse a volunteer. The pack could just about be run by one but it would be exhausting and quickly one person, however dedicated would start to flag, fortunately I am part of a team of five, that way each brings a different set of skills and the total workload is manageable, this week we will be drawing outlines of cubs, the sort that appear on the ground at crime scenes and then filling the outline with colourful organs; lungs, liver, spleen courtesy of some splendid arts and craft card that Debi Gillard passed on to me at the Dogs Party. Actually Debi runs the 100 club, the odds are very good, unlike the lottery, each month 50% is returned as prizes and 50% goes to the charity, wonderful but I digress and I was digressing anyway as this week instead of drawing intestines and studiously avoiding any complicated questions about where the reproductive bits and pieces go on the drawing from the cubs I shall almost certainly still be returning from a family funeral in Southampton and the team at cubs will cope perfectly well. We have a dedicated, efficient and hard-working treasurer who just occasionally would appreciate someone to be able to lend a hand, not necessarily so he can go to funerals, so do you have a little time, hours to suit? Are you any good with figures? Full training provided, no pay, no benefits but there is much to be said for being part of a team.
I hope you are still with me, I am on a roll, I have two administrative projects that have been languishing for lack of time, one would potentially greatly benefit the health of our breed and possibly all breeds, I am looking for a researcher to investigate the opportunities that the charity might have to support research into health and disease in the Labrador. No previous experience just a bit of time and perseverance to look into what is possible, as usual no pay, hours to suit, no benefits but if all goes to plan at the end of the day you may be able to look back and say that you had a small part in something big for the breed.
And finally, I promise, I am looking for a diplomat, someone who is not prepared to take NO as an answer to co-ordinate closer communication between the various Labrador rescues, the breed clubs and the Kennel Club. Ideally someone with an understanding of all three organisations, oblivious to set-backs and tenacious in achieving an ultimate goal of improving the welfare of the breed, I may not have sold this one and as usual there is no pay, no benefits, hours to suit and almost certain abuse but potentially your name could go into the history of the breed.
We have homed a dog from Spain at the request of another charity, we do not currently import dogs for rehoming in the UK but of course we consider any request for help for a dog in the UK. This dog has Leishmaniasis and for those who have not come across this disease before I have written a few notes for you to enjoy later once you have completed your application forms for the situations vacant positions above.
My very best wishes for 2017 to you and your families both two and four legged. Thank you for your continued support.